Google Expands Its Presence in Playa Vista
On December 4, 2014, Google made a bold move in acquiring 12 vacant acres of land in Playa Vista for nearly $120 million. The move solidifies Google’s presence in Southern California, adds credence to the “Silicon Beach” name recently given to the Venice Beach / Playa Vista area, and importantly guarantees a continuing boom in the Playa Vista real estate market by bringing jobs and people to the area.
Google’s Prior Activity In Southern California
Google placed its first foothold in Southern California in 2003, when it opened its Santa Monica office with just a few dozen employees. That outpost grew into one of the company’s biggest offices, resulting in hundreds of employees spread out over multiple offices.
Eventually, in an attempt to consolidate its spread-out employees, Google signed a lease for approximately 100,000 square feet of space in Venice in 2011. That space opened in November of 2011 and quickly became home to 500 employees. The move was part of a major expansion by Google and was aimed to start a new center of operation in Southern California.
Google Purchases 12 Acres Of Land In Playa Vista
On December 3, 2014, it was reported that Google spent almost $120 million to acquire 12 vacant acres of land in Playa Vista next to a hangar where Howard Hughes built the Spruce Goose airplane. The area is reportedly zoned for nearly 900,000 square feet of commercial space.
Google has not yet announced plans for the land, and despite the announcement Google does not have any immediate plans to start building on the site, according to Playa Vista City Councilman Mike Bonin. Coupled with Google’s acquisition is Microsoft, Youtube, and Facebook’s presence in the area, making it extremely attractive for the young, professional crowd.
The Potential Affect Of Google’s Acquisition
Google’s increased presence in Playa Vista will likely have significant benefits for not only the Playa Vista area, but the LA area generally. First and foremost, Google tends to attract young, extremely intelligent professionals, which will ensure that those people will gravitate toward LA rather than leave the area for San Francisco or New York. That talent typically eventually cycles through the economic system either through their own separate ventures or through other companies.
As for the Playa Vista real estate market, the area has already seen a recent boom as a result of ongoing development and new residential and commercial buildings, but the Google acquisition promises continuing growth and demand in the area. While it is too soon to see any tangible results, particularly because Google has not begun construction or announced plans, it is a safe bet that the Playa Vista community will continue to grow and benefit from the booming tech industry’s presence in the area.
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